Good food is easy to find in Los Angeles. Good food and good service at a reasonable price is more of challenge, unless you happen to be at Mendocino Farms. They’ve somehow discovered the secret to having happy employees providing outstanding service, while also serving great eats.
The Mendocino Farms in Brentwood is a bright cheery spot, even on a rare cold and rainy day in LA. The dining room is stylish, yet comfortable, with the kitchen opening onto it.
Since it’s fast casual, you place your order with the greeter and then move onto the cashier, who will offer you samples of their deli salads – as many as you would like – from grains like curried cous cous to spicy potato salad. The cashier was so enthusiastic about offering samples that it almost seemed like I would be insulting her if I turned her offer down.
Mendocino Farms just launched their La Reina Impossible Burger, which uses the vegan Impossible burger as the base for its southwestern spiced patty, along with vegan tomato cayenne Chao cheese, chipotle thousand island, candied Fresno chilis, red onion, lettuce and tomato.
The burger patty tasted like a spicy meatloaf crossed with a sloppy joe, and packed a good kick of heat. Meat eaters would definitely not feel deprived eating La Reina.
Mendo’s Original Pork Belly Banh Mi, one of their foodie favorites, is their take on the classic Vietnamese banh mi. Instead of a baguette, ciabatta fills in for the bread, with braised caramelized pork belly, pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapeño and a mild chili aioli. Sure it barely resembles a traditional banh mi, but it’s damn tasty. There’s a reason why it’s always on the menu.
If you’re thirsty, they’ve got Puck’s all natural sodas, using cane sugar, no artificial colors or flavors. I never drink soda, but made an exception this time. I was glad I did. The cream soda was sooooo good – a dessert unto itself.
As we were leaving and walking outside the entrance, the greeter even waved to me, a big smile on her face. It took me a moment to overcome my shock before I smiled and waved back. Good food and service where they are happy to see you? That’s Mendocino Farms.
Location – 1911 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90049. See here for additional locations.
Website – https://www.mendocinofarms.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes